MEED announces UAE winners in its latest search for the GCC’s best projects

Dubai: MEED has announced the names of the UAE’s projects of the year in the national round of the MEED Quality Awards for Projects 2014, in association with Mashreq. After a rigorous judging process, MEED revealed that the UAE’s projects of the year are: MERAAS’ City Walk project; Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Dubai’s Comprehensive Improvement of Parallel Road projects; Ruwais Fertilizer Industries (Fertil) FERTIL-2 Ammonia Urea Expansion project; ADNOC’s Integrated Gas Development project; Tourism Development and Investment Company’s (TDIC) Saadiyat Island St. Regis Resort project; and the Ministry of Public Works’ Sheikh Khalifa Specialist Hospital project.

Cayan Group Real Estate Investment ‘&’ Development scooped two awards with its Cayan Tower project; while Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)achieved the same feat with its Sustainable Building project and Phase I of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park project.

“We congratulate the national winners on their success. The UAE’s national winners deserve commendation, not only for adhering to the highest quality standards in project development and execution; but also for their socio-economic contributions, that will have a far reaching impact on the future success of the nation,” said Julio Armando De Quesada, Head of Corporate and Investment Banking Group, Mashreq, headline sponsor of the awards.

DEWA won the UAE’s Sustainable Project of the Year Award with its Sustainable Building project, the largest government building with Platinum LEED Certification. The building generates 660 kw of electricity through its roof top solar panels which helps a conservation rate of 66% in its electricity consumption and it was designed using a state of art technology to also save 48% of its water consumption. The building was built using 36 different recycled materials, over a span of 133,436 square foot to accommodate DEWA’s 1000 employees.

Meanwhile, Phase I of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park gave DEWA its second national award in the Power Project of the Year category. The project is considered a game changer for a region that is starting to evolve and define its solar energy ambitions. “Completed in less than 195 days from ground-breaking to grid-connection, the plant demonstrated how affordable and reliable solar electricity could realistically allow the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other countries around the region to rapidly ramp up their electricity generation capacities, to meet short- and medium-term needs,” said Ahmed S. Nada, Vice President of Business Development for First Solar in the Middle East.

Winner of the Award for Innovation and the Louis Berger Building Project of the Year, the Cayan Tower project is a 75-storey residential tower that spirals in a smooth curve by an astonishing 90 degrees. Designed by world-renowned Skidmore Owings ‘&’ Merill, the tower challenges conventional architecture and is recognised the world’s highest twisted skyscraper. “It is a truly architectural vision that has secured its position as among the world’s most iconic and distinctive landmarks,” said Ahmed Alhatti, Chairman of Cayan Group.

The Comprehensive Improvement of Parallel Road project, submitted by Parsons, winner of the UAE Transport Project of the Year, aims to ease bottlenecks and congestion on key arterial roads in Dubai including the busy World Trade Centre roundabout and Sheikh Rashid corridors. “Road infrastructure is of strategic importance to the economic and social development of any city; Dubai has done an excellent job of ensuring the city has high quality infrastructure. Due to the completion of the improvement of the parallel road projects, the average transportation time has come down substantially for the commuters travelling to Business Bay and Dubai World Trade Centre because of its easy accessibility and direct connectivity from various major streets,” said Guy Mehula, MEA President, Parsons.

Winner of the UAE’s Small Project the Year award, entered by Al Futtaim Carillion, The CityWalk retail development was built to enhance the retail and overall lifestyle concept of the residential community where it is located. CityWalk has become a popular and vibrant retail destination since its opening in the 3rd quarter of 2013. This exciting new development overlooking the Burj Khalifa has become a focal point of this established community and a destination for visitors and residents. The success of this development has led on to the larger, second phase of the retail development, which has now commenced construction.

Submitted by Samsung Engineering, the FERTIL-2 Ammonia Urea Expansion project, the UAE’s HLG Oil ‘&’ Gas Project of the Year, increased the fertiliser complex production capacity to 2.1 Million tons per year and is one of the largest of its type in the UAE. “The new state-of-the-art technology being used at the plant will considerably improve the competitive advantage of fertilizer industry in UAE,” said Young Kim, Vice President of Samsung Engineering and Project Manager of Fertil-2 Project.

Meanwhile, ADNOC’s Integrated Gas Development project, the UAE’s Industrial Project of the Year winner, entered by Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Ltd. (GASCO),aims to increase offshore gas production in the Emirates. The offshore gas, after initial treatment in the new Das Island facilities, will be sent through a dedicated 30-inch pipeline to the Habshan site in the southwestern part of the Emirate, where it will be further processed before being sent to the gas sales network. Recovered NGL will be sent to the Ruwais site for further fractionation and export. The IGD project will help meet the rapidly increasing demand for gas resources in the UAE. The project also provided impetus to the growth of numerous local industries supporting the project’s activities in civil, structural, architectural, piping, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, control systems. At the peak of project construction activities, a50,000 strong work force was deployed.

The UAE’s Leisure ‘&’ Tourism Project of the Year winner, the Saadiyat Island St. Regis Resort Project, is a luxurious five-star hotel and residences development that has transformed the island into a signature leisure, residential and cultural destination. “HLG is proud to continue our contribution to Abu Dhabi as it grows to become one of the region’s strongest attractions for regional and international tourists,” said Jose Antonio Lopez-Monis, CEO and Managing Director, HLG.

Winner of the UAE’s Social Project of the Year award, the Sheikh Khalifa Specialist Hospital project, submitted by China State Construction Engineering Corporation, is a state-of-the-art medical facility that delivers world-class medical care in the Northern Emirates Region. “The project has added an immense value to UAE’s medical facilities infrastructure and medical tourism initiatives and has become the ideal transition point for quality medical services provided in Ras Al Khaimah,” said Yu Tao, CEO/President, China State Construction Engineering Middle East.

National winners were also selected from projects completed in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. “The national winners in the GCC are a testament to the high quality of work produced in the region’s projects market. The high quality standards they have achieved have raised the bar for other projects in the region, and the rest of the world,” said Edmund O’Sullivan, Chairman of the judging panel of the MEED Quality Awards for Projects, in association with Mashreq.